Grade One win­ner Al­tior looks class of the field in Tin­gle Creek

The Scotsman - - Sport - By GLEN­DALE

It is dif­fi­cult to look be­yond Al­tior in the Bet­fair Tin­gle Creek Chase at Sandown.

While he was de­nied the chance to run in this race last year due to a set­back, ev­ery­thing has gone to plan for Nicky Hen­der­son’s charge this time around.

That should spell bad news for his ri­vals be­cause, even though the time to catch him might be first time out, he was at his bril­liant best in the Game Spirit last year after an even longer lay-off.

That day he dis­missed the top-class Poli­to­logue as if he were a mere hand­i­cap­per, and the only hope his ri­vals may have is that he briefly looked in trou­ble in the Cham­pion Chase.

Turn­ing into the straight, Nico De Boinville was send­ing out dis­tress sig­nals – but after the turbo kicked in, he even­tu­ally won by seven lengths.

The last time we saw him was over this course and dis­tance in the Cel­e­bra­tion Chase in April, when his strong­est fur­long was again the last.

That has led some to raise the pos­si­bil­ity of a King Ge­orge bid – but while he is mop­ping up Grade Ones over this trip, con­nec­tions will be happy.

An­other short-priced run­ner who looks im­pos­si­ble to op­pose is Lalor in the ran­dox­health.com Henry VIII Novices’ Chase.

A Grade One win­ner over hur­dles, all his best form had pre­vi­ously been in the spring, but he smashed that the­ory when mak­ing a sparkling win­ning chas­ing de­but at Chel­tenham. This race was not orig­i­nally on the agenda, but for a small yard it is hard to pass up a Grade One which looks his for the tak­ing if he jumps like the prover­bial stag once more.

There are sev­eral pre­vi­ous win­ners over the Grand Na­tional fences in ac­tion at Ain­tree as the Ran­dox Health Becher Chase takes cen­tre stage. Blak­lion, Vieux Lion Rouge, High­land Lodge and Ul­tragold have all scaled the heights but if Bry­ony Frost can get Present Man into the same rhythm as she does at Win­can­ton, they could be hard to beat.

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